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Various Pinot Noirs Recently Tasted

2019 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 2,503 cases, $48. Produced and bottled by big Table Farm, Gaston, OR. Sourced from nine sites. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Deep aromas of black cherry, blackberry and dark chocolate with a hint of pipe smoke and barnyard. Discreetly concentrated core of black cherry fruit with some spice and a hint of smokiness. Satin in tone, with integrated tannins and a modest but satisfying finish. Score: 89

2019 Big Table Farm Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 243 cases, $64. BTF has worked with the same rows in this vineyard for ten years. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very inviting aromas of black cherry, tilled earth, wilted rose and grilled beef. The flavors of black cherry and raspberry draw your attention. There is a thread of barnyard noted that is typical of Pelos Sandberg Vineyard. Very silken in texture, nicely balanced, with the vibrant fruit holding court with intensity through the splendid finish. Nuanced and reflective of a unique terroir. Score: 93

2019 Broadley Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 2,800 cases, $22. A blend of fruit from Broadley Estate Vineyard, Open Claim Vineyard, Zenith Vineyard and Mailaris Vineyard. 100% destemmed, wild yeast fermentation in open-top stainless steel 4.5 ton and 1.5 ton plastic fermentor bins. Aged in neutral French oak barrels for 10 months. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, savoury spice, spearmint and a rub of oak. Light in style, with flavors of red cherry, cranberry, dried herbs and tobacco. Forward-drinking, with juicy acidity and a shallow finish. Score: 88

2018 De Ponte Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc. $48 (Wine Club $38). · I recently bought some 2018 De Ponte Pinot Noir wines to drink as this is one of my favorite Oregon producers. Suzanne Baldwin Oliver handled my order and added a bottle of this wine as a gift and I was really surprised how good it was. A superb appellation value bottling with plenty of well-spiced, black cherry goodness with a hint of complimentary oak in the background. No rough edges in a middleweight style with exquisite balance. Goes down very easy. Did I mention this is an extraordinary value in Pinot Noir! This was a pre-release as part of a special 2018 vintage promotion and is part of a Wine Club shipment currently. Most of the 2018 Pinot Noirs will be released by this summer. Score: 92

2017 Intent Home Block Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 34 cases, $42, wax closure. Released February 2020. Produced and bottled by Intent Wines LLC, Healdsburg, CA. Sourced from Filigreen Farm and specifically the Home block that has some of the oldest vines on the Farm that is Demeter® certified biodynamic. 100% Pommard clone. Aged 14 months in neutral oak. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Tasted two bottles. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Both bottles had bruised apple (acetaldehyde) on the nose that persisted after opening. Aromas of cherry, spice and green herbs are also present. Light to mid-weight in style with flavors of cherry, raspberry and green herbs infused with vibrant acidity and backed by very modest tannins. Silky in texture with a short, histrung, acid-driven finish. Flawed, Score: NR

2018 LOBO Wolff Vineyards Napa Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $N/A (not released). · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. It really took two days for this wine to fully open up. Aromas of ripe strawberry, cherrywood and underbrush. Both red and black fruits are evident but struggle to appear under daunting tannins initially. With time, the tannins became better integrated, the fruit took on a bold demeanor and the finish increased in length and appeal. Decanting will be required if drunk now but prudence would dictate a few years in the cellar. I hope to have a chance to re-taste in the future. Score: 90

2019 Pfendler Vineyards Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 200 cases, $55. Produced and bottled by Pfendler Vineyards, Santa Rosa, CA. 100% Helgren Vineyard, the highest of Pfendler’s three estate vineyards sitting at 2,200 feet on the mountain top above the fog line. Harvested at 24.7º Brix. 50% Swan and 50% Calera selections. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. Winemaker Erica Stancliff. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherry, sweet pipe smoke and barnyard. Richly appointed flavors of blackberry, cassis and black tea in a mid-weight plus style. Straightforward and fruit-driven, with modest tannins and a silky mouthfeel, leaving behind a little bitterness and the slightest sense of alcoholic heat. Score: 90

I don’t review Chardonnay any more but I must put in a plug for the 2019 Big Table Farm Wild Bee Willamette Valley Chardonnay. This is one of the greatest values in domestic Chardonnay, bar none. I did not formerly review this wine but drank it over two days and it was terrific. Packed with citrus flavor, crisp and bright in demeanor, unplugged oak, with an uplifting finish. Satisfying in every way and a perfect aperitif or accompaniment to the dinner table. A blend of seven Chardonnay sites the winery works with from several appellations. Priced at $30, this is an exceptional Chardonnay at any price.1,155 cases available. Cool label with a wild bee drawing by April Coppini. 93

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